BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Federal storm relief money continues to pour into Louisiana. The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as DSNAP, is now available for those impacted by Hurricane Ida.
New mother Bria Rideaux is one of many across the state who were impacted by Hurricane Ida.
“With everything going on with COVID and hurricane season, I don’t think we’ve ever really experienced that. Like I say, for myself, and being a new mother, it’s challenging,” she said.
After the storm, thousands were left with no power and a loss of food supplies.
“Without refrigerators and without generators to run or with the hectic nightmare we’ve had trying to get gas, luckily it’s easing up, but a lot of us lost a good portion of our food. And to kind of get people back to a good place, it’s super necessary,” said Gonzales resident Andrew Jordan.
Department of Children & Family Services Assistant Secretary of Family Support Shavana Howard says help is on the way after the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was approved on Monday.
“This program will help to replace those food benefits and or supplement any money that you currently have to purchase food to take care of families,” she said.
Rideaux said she already registered.
“As far as a plan, we did register just to be in the pool. So yesterday when it came out that they actually approved it, that was a kind of a relief,” said Rideaux.
Those who are eligible must fall under certain requirements.
“You cannot currently be on SNAP. You’ve been impacted by a disaster. You live in the 25 parishes that were approved by the president and as long as you pass the means income test,” said Howard.
Also, those who were hardest hit may get their benefits later due to federal guidelines.
“They’re looking at connectivity, so are our communities connected so that they can make a phone call, and do they have Internet access? Is the mail running in those areas so that we can actually issue out and send out cards? And lastly, are the grocery stores open so that you can even spend cards in those affected parishes?” said Howard.
DCFS says pre-registering can help expedite the process.
“We are encouraging people to preregister now prior to the SNAP being activated, which means that you can go online and preregister and it will help to speed up your interview process. Pre-registering does help for you to get text alerts. You don’t have to preregister. You can just call into the call center and actually have your interview conducted over the phone,” she said.
The application process will be done remotely.
“If you preregister, you still have to call into our call center on the days that we’re actually offering interviews. So we are not doing any sites. So there’s no place that anyone has to go. They just have to call into our call center,” Howard explained.
There is a specific schedule set up parish by parish to make the application process smoother.
“They would just call in to help you on the date that their parish is open to apply, as well as their alphabet system of which we will be using because we anticipate there’s going to be a large number of people,” she said.
The dates provided by DCFS are below:
|Dates||September 20 – 25|
|Parishes||East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Orleans, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana|
|Dates||September 27 – October 2|
|Parishes||Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Livingston, Plaquemines, St. Helena, St Martin (only lower St. Martin parish ZIP codes 70339 and 70380), St. Mary, Tangipahoa|
|Dates||October 4 – October 9|
|Parishes||Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Terrebonne|
You can find more DSNAP information here.